If I were to give the shortest weight loss advice, it would be this: do the right thing and stay consistent. Knowing the right thing to do is easy. We’ve all seen the millions of articles on ‘how to lose weight.’ But most folks can’t stay consistent long enough to see results.
Even so, it’s possible for you to stay consistent if you follow the tips below. Here you go – 9 ways to stay consistent with diet and exercise.
1. Start slow then gradually advance.
Folks start routines at a pace they can’t keep up with long term. Don’t expect to exercise for 6 days a week without feeling depleted, if you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle.
Start slowly, then gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you get fitter. It takes about 21 – 40 days to form a habit. So as you continue to repeat the easy routine, exercising will become a habit. Start with a 3-day routine for the first 30 days, then advance to a more challenging routine. It’s the same way with diet. Start with a low calorie deficit then then increase the deficit once you learn to control hunger.
2. Stop relying on motivation.
I frequently get emails from people telling me that they’ve lost their motivation. Frankly, nobody feels motivated all the time – there are times even I don’t feel like exercising at all. But I suck it up and exercise anyway. Do the same thing. In fact, once exercising has become a habit, lack of motivation won’t stop you. Skipping workouts can be a habit too, so avoid the temptation.
3. Be accountable.
It’s easy to skip workouts or eat unhealthy foods if you’re not accountable to anyone. But nobody wants to disappoint their fitness partner by skipping workouts or eating unhealthy foods.
When picking a partner, make sure they’re committed as you are, you’re both on the same fitness level and you have the same schedule.
4. Have workout and diet plans.
The easiest way to fail is to start a weight loss journey without a meal plan or a workout routine prepared.
Plans guide you on the exercises to do and the foods to eat. But don’t download just any plan you find on the web. Find a routine designed for your fitness level and goals.
5. Set short term goals.
It may take more than 25 weeks to lose 50 pounds. Frankly, maintaining a calorie deficit and exercising for such a long period is hard, and it may seem impossible to reach that goal. Don’t focus on the big goal – instead, set smaller monthly goals. You’ll be motivated to keep going once you attain the short term goals. A simple monthly goal would be – to lose 8 pounds in one month.
6. Set rules and stick to them.
One of my workout rules is ‘I’ll never go for more than 3 days without exercise.’ And my diet rule is ‘I won’t go for more than 2 meals without eating healthy proteins and vegetables.’
Such rules help you maintain healthy habits with ease. The idea is to have a few precise rules which you can stick to. Write them down if you have to.
7. Form small habits.
Small habits like drinking 2 liters of water a day or eating an apple every day, will remind you of the bigger habits like exercising and tracking meals.
Not only that, small healthy habits make a difference in the long run. In this study, people who drank the daily recommended amount of water for 12 weeks lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t.
8. Exercise in the morning.
It wasn’t until I started exercising in the morning, that I stopped skipping workouts. Morning is the best time to exercise because there are no distractions and you’re fresh (not tired). You’ll also make healthier food choices through the day if you work out in the morning.
9. Stop making excuses.
I’m tired, I got held up, I feel lazy….the list goes on and on. Excuses are easy to make and justify. Avoid making excuses and just do what you have to do. Getting fit is not easy, so push yourself and get out of your comfort zone.
About Brian Syuki
Brian Syuki is the founder of Focus Fitness, an at-home fitness blog which teaches people how to stay lean and strong using bodyweight exercises and proper nutrition. Download his 3-day bodyweight workout and like his Facebook page.